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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 01/27/2010
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 Rich Rasmussen

Cougar Chats, Copyright 2010, Washington State University Athletics. All rights reserved.

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Chat with Washington State football recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen on Wednesday, February 3 at noon PT.

Moderator: Good afternoon Cougar Football fans and thank you for spending National Letter of Intent Signing Day with us at WSUCougars.com. On this very exciting day, we welcome recruiting coordinator Rich Rasmussen to the chat room. We have a lot of questions submitted so let's get right to it.

Paul Pullman: Who are you guys more excited for, this years class or last years?
Rich Rasmussen: This whole group is pretty special and we solidified several needs within the roster. The three Spokane area kids (Dunn, Halliday, Rogers) really helped get things going by jumping on board early and really became some of the leaders of this recruiting class. CJ Mizell is the surprise we picked up late. He plays the position and looks like a typical LB you would find in the SEC or ACC.

wulffisbuilding: saw a QB at everett's Jackson-any chance to walk on? good feet for tall guy and accurate. saw on Gesser's camp site, he was there. keep up the great effort-a few years like this and were right back on track.
Rich Rasmussen: I believe he has committed to another school.

Joyce (Yelm): I recently saw your schedule online, but saw no Seattle game listed. Is one of the games slated to be in Seattle and which one? Or is there no longer going to be any Seattle games?
Rich Rasmussen: There is no game scheduled in Seattle for 2010. We are scheduled to play UNLV at Qwest in 2011.

Chace Bryson: I'm a writer with the Contra Costa Times in the S.F. Bay Area. How would you best describe the group of seven recruits WSU landed from the East Bay (K. Williams, Jiles, Clark, Duckett, Galvin, Horton and Pole)?
Rich Rasmussen: First of all, Coach Ball did a fantastic job recruiting the area. That was his recruiting area when he was previously here during our Rose Bowl era. We had a good percentage of kids who came out of the Bay Area that helped us to those 10-win seasons. All seven of the guys that we were able to pick up from the Bay Area bring a great deal of athleticism to their positions. Four of the guys came in on an official visit together and really bonded, deciding they wanted to help us get back to the top of the Pac-10.

Stacey (Kent): We have sadly struggled on our defense in the Wulff Era... what can we look to this recruiting class to help with that? Who is going to make an instant impact to the defense?
Rich Rasmussen: The help is coming in the form of the guys we were able to redshirt a year ago such as: Washington, Clayton, Markle, and Carpenter, to name a few. Also, Brandon Rankin is on campus now and will give us a presence on the D-line.

Matt (Portland): Congratulations on a good looking bunch of recruits! Are there 2 or 3 members of this class that might contribute next year?
Rich Rasmussen: Matt, thanks for the compliment. I expect one or two of the wideouts to come in and provide some depth for us. Obviously, the two junior college O-lineman will also fill some needs for us. Right now, it's hard to predict any others because you always have somebody who comes into camp and surprises you by being more ready to play than you would have predicted.

Mark (Columbus): No D Line help so far in this class. Was that not a focus this year?
Rich Rasmussen: Mark, we did sign Toni Pole along with Brandon Rankin joining us in January. To be honest, this was a very thin year for defensive line prospects up and down the west coast, which is reflective when you look at the commit list from other schools. There just wasn't a large pool of guys we believed that could help us at this level, and we didn't want to sign someone just to be signing a body to the roster. We were in on some guys early and during the course of the entire recruiting process; however, for various reasons they chose to go different directions.

Nick (Sumner): What is the plan for this class are far as redshirts and greyshirts are concerned?
Rich Rasmussen: Nick, we like to redshirt as many as possible to allow for their physical development, but each will be evaluated on an individual basis once we start fall camp and actually have an opportunity to work with them in team settings. If there are a couple of guys who can come in and help us this year, we are not afraid to play them.

Greg Davis (Puyallup): Coach - Great job on today's signings! You guys obviously worked your tails off throughout the year and today was your payday! I'm not sure if you want to talk about the one's that got away, but I would be curious when Asante Cleveland actually let you guys know he had changed his mind...seems a little cold to leave a team at the alter at the last second? But, with that said, it's water under the bridge now...I'm excited for all the guys that went "Coug" today! Great job by the entire coaching staff!
Rich Rasmussen: Greg, thanks for the compliment and we're really excited regarding the group we have coming in. Unfortunately, a couple of guys chose to go in another direction at the 11th hour after they have been committed to us for quite some time. The timing of this was extremely disappointing because it left us in a difficult situation without having time to identify other potential prospects. We do have a couple of positions open. We are going to allow the dust to settle a little bit and see what's out there as far as fitting a couple of needs that we may have going into next season. Every year you have guys who don't sign with a program for some reason on Signing Day or get dropped by someone at the last second. We just need to take time to investigate those possibilities.

brett (Pullman): I know many people are interested in CJ MIzell. What can you say about him?
Rich Rasmussen: Brett, honestly we just became aware of CJ about 10 days ago through a phone call made by a former player. He committed to Florida State at this time a year ago; however, he did not qualify initially with the NCAA. He has since completed the necessary requirements and is eligible. A year ago at this time he had offers from Florida, Florida State, Georgia, and South Carolina to name a few. We know that there may be some questions regarding his background and history; however, we have thoroughly investigated this and could not find a person who had a bad thing to say about him. We believe that he is going to have an opportunity to succeed in our environment because we are going to surround him with high-character individuals. That was something he embraced when he came on campus and during his recruitment.

Mike Spokane: Are all the LOI's faxed in now? Any later signings planned?
Rich Rasmussen: Mike, we've received all of the NLI's we expected to as of this morning. Again, we're going to take some time to evaluate some other possibilities that may surface here in the next couple of weeks.

Monica (Moscow): from a recruiting coordinator perspective, what/who are some highlights of this recruiting class?
Rich Rasmussen: Monica, we really put an emphasis on size and athleticism with this class. There are seven guys that are 6-4 or bigger and bring a great deal of athleticism, while having a frame that has room to build. We increased the size and speed of our defensive backfield and receiver corp. Connor Halliday also has a frame to add to, being a 6-5 athletic quarterback.
Moderator: Okay, that's all the time we have. Rich, thank you for joining us today.
Rich Rasmussen: The entire staff did a phenomenal job of really grinding through this recruiting cycle. We were able to identify guys early in the process as far back as last February and were able to build those relationships and get a lot of this year's class to commit to us early in the process. I think you are going to be excited with the group of guys that we've brought in this year once you have an opportunity to see them in action on the field.
Moderator: Thank you to everyone for your questions. Sorry we could not get to them all. Remember, to get all the information about WSU Athletics, go no further than WSUCougars.com, the official website of Cougar Athletics. Please check back to WSUCougars.com for future online chats.

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